Since the first national seminar in 1995, TAPS has welcomed all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the Armed Forces, providing a full weekend of events for adults and children. Those that have attended had the opportunity to make connections with other survivors, learn new coping skills, participate in healing activities, and honor their loved one. As well, there was time for reflecting, relaxing, and visiting with newfound friends.
All activities-whether they are workshops, haring groups, offsite activities, or special evening events, were structured to provide resources and information to help one continue to heal. Nationally known grief experts were on hand to provide support and training. Those attending connected with other survivors, all who are walking similar journeys through grief.
Beginning May 22, and carrying through May 25, TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program For
Survivors, held its National Seminar in the greater Washington, D.C. area. It was a beautiful weekend in our nation's capital- the sun was shining and the days and nights presented the most comfortable of temperatures. Over 2,000 attendees were present for the 2015 National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. And, I was so very fortunate to be one of the 2,000 that were present for this life-affirming weekend of support, care, and hope.
I was invited to facilitate a workshop entitled, Grandparents, Shaping the Lives of Their Grandchildren and Making Memories. My books, Hearts Always Open, Memories With The Heart, and Friendships With The Heart, were very much a part of the workshop that was held on May 23, at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. The books that I have written exemplify the learning, the compassion, and the heartfelt experiences that we as individuals become a part of, as we journey through our lives. The common thread in my writings is the courage and the love that people use as an empowerment to make something better; a bit easier, or kinder for those that are in need.
It was an honor for me to meet the devoted and goodly individuals that attended and participated in my workshop. We all spoke openly and honestly with one another, while sharing our stories of our own personal loss, our grieving, and our continual healing. Special words were shared about our grandchildren-words about their strength, their wisdom, and their innocence.
All the while during the two hours of open dialogue at our workshop, Grandparents, Shaping the Lives of Their Grandchildren and Making Memories, myself and those wonderful individuals in attendance, were graced by learning from each other. We learned and understood the importance of taking care of our grandchildren who are missing their loved one-their very own mother or father. Whether it be sporting events, county fairs, birthday parties and celebrations, family dinners, writing letters to each other, or daily conversations on the telephone...it all becomes an integral part of our daily lives that our dedicated to those that have the rest of their lives to live without their mother or father. And, as we spoke about all of the ways that we provide love and support to our grandchildren, we knew of course that the memories we make with these dear and special children will last their lifetimes.
I feel so privileged to have met such devoted grandparents and parents while facilitating the workshop. As we closed our time together, we all knew that our lives had been enriched by coming to know one another.
All during the May 22 thru May 25 National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, it was apparent that support, dedication, and leadership prevailed. The personal care-giving to the survivors of all ages in attendance was carried out with compassion and respect. We all Remembered the Love, Celebrated the Life, and Shared the Journey during those beautiful sunny days.
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Most Grateful, Glenna.